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eMoms Review :: Sears’


As a prominent mom blogger, I am regularly contacted by companies asking me to help “spread the word” about products, services and new web sites. Usually, I blow them off - particularly because most of the time, the stuff they want me to promote isn’t really relevant to you or me.

But last week I was contacted by Sears, asking me to review their site. I liked what I saw at first, the site is relevant to us busy moms, and they offered me a $30 gift card to review the shopping experience from product search to order completion, so I agreed to the task.

I surfed over and found that Sears is giving Web 2.0 a shot, with a holiday-shopping forum targeted at moms. I was surprised at the amount of posts and interaction here - personally, I don’t know how busy moms have time to hang out in an online forum during the holidays. But the popular topics revolved around gift giving for hard-to-shop-for people, which I am finding this year to be a bigger pain in the rear than ever before. So I guess they are onto something… I would be curious if any of you would find this useful for your holiday shopping?

My favorite part of the site is their “Get Prepared” section that has everything from recipes and decorations to tips for just about any holiday situation you could find yourself in (travel, party hostess, family photos, crafts, etc.). The thing I most wish I had found at the beginning of the season is a downloadable Excel spreadsheet holiday planner - I had already created my own by the time they found me.

Ironically, though, the shopping experience left me wanting more. I had already done a lot of my online shopping at Amazon and Toys R Us, and I really missed the sophisticated navigation of a major eCommerce site. And they had quite a few things that were out of stock, which seemed odd for a big retailer like Sears. I finally found two kid gifts and went to check out and they shot me over to the main Sears site. But lo and behold, the main site had everything that their ReadySetHoliday site was lacking - I quickly found a better and more appropriate gift, and then the checkout was a breeze (which I can’t say for Toys R Us earlier today BTW, as Google Checkout nearly crashed my machine).

So in the end, I took on the review because I knew many of you would be interested in the new twist to online shopping that Sears is putting together. But in their attempt to be Web 2.0, they seemed to have forgotten some basics from Web 1.0 - navigation and selection being the most important things of all.

What I liked most of all, though, was that they were fine with me giving a completely honest review. They may have some evolving to do to become a truly social-shopping destination, but at least they ‘get it’ that in order to ask for a review of the consumer experience, they must be willing to hear the answer. :)

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